Femme staff and newly trained local elders
Since Femme International joined GlobalGiving, our team has been working hard to make our goal a reality.
Our team traveled to Tanga, on Tanzania's coast, to deliver the Twaweza Program to our partners YDCP, who offer a wide range of services to youth with disabilities, including health services, education, and caretaking. Our goal for this project was to ensure that girls with disabilities recieved the important information, as well as reusable menstrual products. However, Femme also wanted to target caregivers and local leaders to ensure the girls would be supported at all levels in the community.
In Tanzania, as with many places, girls with disabilities face many challenges, including physical and sexual abuseand neglect from their families, who often see them as an embarassement. YDCP works with the community to change these perceptions, and Femme collaborates with YDCP to provide menstrual products and health education, as this is a major challenge for these girls, and their caregivers.
Femme hosted a workshop specifically for the caregivers, which helped them understand how to best support the girls, and then ran a workshop for the girls themselves. Our team designed spcial workbooks for this workshop, with loads of images for them to colour and interact with. The girls were provided with Femme Kits, which include reusable pads from AFRIpads, which will help them feel clean and comfortable during their periods.
In the Tanga region, many girls learn about reproductive health from local 'kungwis', which are female elders who teach girls about their bodies. However, much of these sessions often turn into discussion various sexual acts, and how to be a good wife to her husband. Femme believes that a girl's worth is much more than her ability to please a man, and that girls need to learn comprehensive health education. Because this is an exisiting community structure, Femme hosted a Training of Trainers with the kungwis to teach best practice teaching methods, as well as the Twaweza curriculum content. We hope that this will help the kungwis be more effective teachers in their community.
Girls with disabilities are often overlooked when it comes to menstrual health, and we are excited to be developing necessary tools to provide much needed support to girls with disabilitis, while also including the wider community.
We are excited to keep collaborating with groups like YDCP in 2018!
Girls receiving their Femme Kits
The Twaweza Workbook teaches female anatomy
Girls and Winnie after the workshop